CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 20 October 2018

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Indonesian beheaded in Saudi Arabia
Jakarta (UCAN): Muhammad Zaini Misrin, from Madura, East Java, Indonesia, was beheaded in Saudi Arabia despite several direct pleas from the president, Joko Widodo to show mercy.
 
The 53-year-old migrant worker, who was working as a driver, was found guilty of murdering his employer in 2005 and was executed on March 18 according to overseas workers advocacy group Migrant Care.
 
The group said Saudi authorities failed to inform Indonesia through a mandatory notification to its consulate in Jeddah of Misrin’s execution.
 
Migrant Care also said Misrin received an unfair trial in which his interpreter conspired with authorities to elicit a confession.
 
“Misrin’s trial and execution were a gross human rights violation,” Migrant Care director Wahyu Susilo said on March 19. 
 
New law allows revocation of residency of East Jerusalem Palestinians
JERUSALEM (CNS): A new Israeli law that allows the government to revoke the permanent residency status of Palestinians living in East Jerusalem is contrary to international law, said the director of a Catholic legal aid centre. 
 
According to the law, residency status of East Jerusalem Palestinians can be revoked if they engage in terror or other anti-Israel activities. 
 
“Under international law, East Jerusalem is occupied territory and the Palestinians living in East Jerusalem ... are under occupation. So this law would require people under occupation to be loyal to the occupying power. Clearly this is contrary to international law,” explained Raffoul Rofa, director of the Society of St. Yves Catholic Centre for Human Rights. 
 
“This law requires non-citizens of the State of Israel to be loyal to a country they are not citizens of,” Rofa said. 
 
The St. Yves society, working under the patronage of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, provides free legal aid to those who need it. The new law also will allow the state to deport anyone whose residency status has been withdrawn. 
 
It stipulates three situations in which the residency can be revoked: if the original status was granted under false pretenses, if the resident endangered public safety or security, or if he betrays the State of Israel.
 
United Nations peacekeepers accused of rape in Central Africa
MADRID (CNS): Bishop Juan Aguirre Munoz of Bangassou, in the Central African Republic, has accused United Nations peacekeeping troops of sexual abuse in his diocese and warned they could be guilty of crimes against humanity. 
 
“Women are selling their bodies to the Blue Helmets out of desperation,” the bishop said. 
 
“Many are doing this to avoid dying of hunger and some of the abused are minors. When I asked their mothers what happened, they sank their heads.” 
 
The bishop spoke while staying in his native Spain on UN advice after his diocesan vicar general narrowly survived a machete attack. 
 
In an interview with Madrid’s Alfa y Omega Catholic weekly, he said up to 2,000 Muslims had been sheltering in the seminary adjoining Bangassou’s Catholic cathedral, protected by peacekeepers, since a wave of anti-Muslim violence in May 2017 left dozens dead.
 
Iraqi patriarch nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
Baghdad (AsiaNews): Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako, head of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq, has been nominated for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. 
 
The Catholic association, L’Œuvre d’Orient, put forward his candidacy in late January, which was accepted by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
 
Patriarch Sako said what truly counted was not receiving the prize, but the symbolic value of the gesture” because it helps “keep alive the focus on the Iraqi people, on the Christian community” which today is still the victim of attacks. It also helps in working “for the future of the country.”
 
He recounted that, “In a recent meeting with Pope Francis, I asked him for moral and spiritual support.” 
 
This “is what we need,” he said.
 
Becoming a nominee for the prize “flows from this and represents an extraordinary contribution to overcoming marginalisation and indifference towards our suffering and that of other   yminorities” the patriarch said.
 
In Iraq and around the world, religious leaders, intellectuals and civil society groups backed the nomination as way to acknowledge the Patriarch Sako’s work for peace, coexistence and reconciliation.

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